Students Staff

22 June 2016

Essex academic receives double honour from American Political Science Association

Professor Jonathan Slapin

Professor Jonathan Slapin.

Professor Jonathan Slapin from our Department of Government has won both the 2016 Richard F. Fenno Jr. Prize and the Leon Epstein Outstanding Book Award for his latest book, The Politics of Parliamentary Debate: Parties, Rebels and Representation.

This is the first time one book has won both awards.

Professor Slapin shares the awards with his co-author Professor Sven-Oliver Proksch from McGill University in Montreal, making it the first time in the Fenno Prize’s thirty year history that all authors of the winning book have been based outside of the United States of America.

In making the award the Fenno Prize committee said “In the tradition of Professor Fenno’s work, this book is both theoretically and empirically strong. It pursues new and different avenues of research in order to find answers to previously unexplored questions about the nature of legislative politics. And it sets a course for future scholars to follow both in terms of its methodological approach and its substantive directions. We congratulate the authors on their fine contribution.”

The Leon Epstein Outstanding Book Award recognises a book that has made an outstanding contribution to research and scholarship on political organisations and parties.

On hearing he’d won, Professor Slapin said, “I’m absolutely delighted and thrilled to receive these wonderful awards. The book represents many years of research. Having our hard work recognised with not one, but two awards from our discipline’s leading professional organisation is truly fantastic, and frankly, a bit unbelievable.”

The Politics of Parliamentary Debate, published by Cambridge University Press, compares the rules that govern parliamentary debate across countries and seeks to understand how and why parties control what their MPs say on the floor of parliament. It explores the politics that underpins parliamentary debate by examining patterns of debate participation in the UK, Germany, New Zealand and the European Parliament.

The authors conclude that parliamentary debate can provide insights into party politics and democratic representation that studies of parliamentary voting alone cannot, and that the study of debate makes it clear how parties orchestrate the activities of their MPs, and how MPs and parties seek to connect with voters.

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